CSExtra – Wednesday, April 11, 2012
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Wednesday’s CSExtra offers a collection of the latest reporting and commentary on space related activities from around the world. North Korea prepares for a rocket launch as soon as Thursday over the objections of the U. S., Russia, Japan and others. A group of former NASA officials questions the space agency’s assertions over climate change. In a bi-partisan show of support, two U. S. senators from Texas and Florida urge fellow lawmakers not to pursue commercial space objectives at the expense of future human space exploration. NASA’s Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft lands at the Kennedy Space Center to ferry orbiter Discovery to the Washington D. C. area next week. Experts explain a Texas fireball. Two time space tourist Charles Simonyi finds a Seattle home for his Soyuz spacecraft.
1. From Spacepolicyonline.com: North Korea nears a rocket launch over the objections of the United States, Russia and many of the communist nation’s neighbors. Invited foreign journalists and experts are on hand to watch the launch of what North Korea says is a small weather satellite that will mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the nation’s founder, Kim Il-sung. Outsiders fear the satellite merely veils a ballistic missile test that will violate U. N. sanctions as well as a U. S. food aid agreement. . A lift off is expected between Thursday and Monday. http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/north-korea-readies-for-provocative-satellite-launch
A. From Nature News.com: As North Korea prepares for a controversial rocket launch this week, experts watch — skeptical its uncertain mission will succeed. http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/04/north-korea-gets-ready-to-launch.html
B. From the Wall Street Journal: Amid the cherry blossoms and other signs of spring, Japan deploys missile defense batteries, preparing itself in case North Korea’s missile test poses a threat. http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2012/04/11/cherry-blossoms-and-pac-3s/?KEYWORDS=Korea
C. From Wired News.com: Experts discount North Korea’s claim of a rocket launch to deliver an Earth observing satellite to orbit. http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/04/noko-lying-launch/
2. From the Daily Caller: A group of former NASA officials, including astronauts, urges NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to soften the agency’s stance on human induced climate change in a newly released letter. “As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate,” the letter reads in part. The group said statements that “man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated.” A NASA spokesman said the agency had not received the Mar. 28 letter. http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/10/former-astronauts-blast-nasa-for-extreme-position-on-climate-change/#ixzz1rivCwAQB
3. From Spacepolitics.com: The web site takes note of a bi-partisan essay penned by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison, U. S. Senator from Texas, and Democrat Bill Nelson, U. S. Senator from Florida, on NASA’s future. They urge their fellow lawmakers not to confuse NASA’s exploration responsibilities with efforts to nurture commercial transportation services. Both are essential for U. S. leadership, they write, while suggesting the space agency move expeditiously to invest only in the most capable commercial partners. http://www.spacepolitics.com/2012/04/10/hutchison-and-nelson-on-the-same-page-regarding-nasa/
A. From the Sacramento Bee: In a bi-partisan op-ed U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, of Texas, and U. S. Sen. Bill Nelson, of Florida, emphasize the importance of human exploration for the nation’s future. Exploration serves as a critical motivator for the nation’s youth as well as an investment in new technologies, they write in an essay that appeared in several U. S. newspapers earlier this week. http://www.sacbee.com/2012/04/09/4400460/americas-space-act-is-about-to.html
4. From Collectspace.com: NASA’s Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft arrives at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday. The SCA is scheduled to ferry the retired shuttle orbiter Discovery from Florida to Dulles International Airport next Tuesday for delivery to the Smithsonian Institution. http://www.collectspace.com/news/news-041012a.html
5. From Space.com: A bright meteor streaked across the daytime sky over Texas last week. Experts say there is an increase in this type of display in February and late March/early April. http://www.space.com/15222-daytime-fireball-texas.html
6. From Space.com: Charles Simonyi, the American billionaire software developer, reached space twice as a tourist. Now the Russian Soyuz capsule that carried him on his most recent trip, in March 2009, with two professional astronauts is part of a new gallery at the Seattle Museum of Flight. http://www.space.com/15225-charles-simonyi-space-tourist-book.html
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